In one of the comments to my Week In Review post, Vicky who is both a bloggy and an IRL friend asked if I think that Anna is challenged appropriately in her kindergarten. It prompted me to ask Anna a few questions:
- Me: Is Kindergarten difficult?
- Anna (giggling): No, kindergarten is not difficult?
- Me: Is it boring?
- Anna (surprised): No, it’s not boring! Kindergarten is great!
- Me: Are you learning anything new?
- Anna: I don’t know… I guess so.
- Me: Is it challenging?
- Anna: Umm… Maybe only in writing. It’s great.
My own answer to the question whether she is challenged appropriately would probably be “it depends”. She is not challenged academically, but then she wouldn’t be in any school except in homeschool or maybe in school with about 1:5 teacher-student ratio. I am not deluded – the teacher that has 25 kids in her class cannot possibly accommodate individual levels of every student to make sure they are appropriately challenged in every subject.
However, she is still challenged. Not so much academically, but physically, socially and emotionally. The oldest child in her class has just turned 7, and Anna is not even 5 yet. Emotional and social maturity and competence are as important and require as much practice as academic competence. Anna has enough puzzles to sort out observing and interacting with her classmates and with even older kids in her afterschool. What’s important to me is that she is happy, bubbling with positive energy and has desire to “hit the books”, so to speak when she comes home. She writes voluntarily, mostly the list of things she wants to do, she asks for math worksheets, and she plays school sometimes with her stuffed animals, especially her music lessons. Since I never planned to raise a child who will be ready for college by 12, I am very happy that she enjoys a regular neighborhood school so much. I can only hope that her enthusiasm and good cheer will stay on with her as she goes through her school years.